Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not So Silent Spring

Spring has arrived in eastern Massachusetts. How can I tell? The early migraters are back. I heard the first rusty caroling of a robin just the other day. The crocuses are up. The snow and ice are gone. Hints of green are everywhere. But none of those things say "Spring" like the roaring drone of small internal combustion engines.

As early as 8:15 this morning the landscaping crew arrived to begin the spring clean-up on the massive lawn of our friend and neighbor's yard. I counted at least one riding mower and four backpack leaf blowers. The relentless drone went on for nearly an hour.

I was reminded that I have about eight months of this noise ahead of me and I am reminded how sick and tired I am of it. I've ranted about this before and I won't repeat myself here. I'll simply say that I dream of a day when we, as a society, see how stupid we have been regarding the pointless waste and pollution we create in our mindless quest for the perfect suburban lawn.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Egg

In case anyone asks, the egg came first. But I want to talk about chicken eggs, the kind you eat, not evolution.

There's an old farmstead in town that was the home of a revolutionary soldier that is famous for being a woman who disguised herself as a man so she could fight for our liberty. For years, decades maybe, I've been driving by this well-known landmark and seeing a sign for "fresh eggs for sale" without giving it much thought. We get our eggs at the supermarket. Well, as part of my new awareness of the wisdom of supporting local agriculture, I called last week and made arrangements to buy a dozen eggs produced about a mile from home. I even stopped on my way to another errand, so I didn't have to make a special trip.

The proprietor wasn't around when I picked up my eggs, leaving my payment in the honor system box, but I hope to chat with him soon so I can learn something about poultry husbandry. It feels good to eat food that comes from close to home, knowing the good people who grew it, and knowing the birds weren't abused or force-fed chemicals.